ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Road Marking - High Priority Road Safety, or Just Road Maintenance?

Carnaby, Bob

Road Environment


Successive Governments in recent times have put in place some very effective road safety programmes to reduce the road carnage. These programmes, such as SPEED, FATIGUE, DRINK DRIVE, SEAT BELTS, and HELMETS, have had an obvious beneficial impact. As effective and successful as these programmes have been, they are aimed at driver behaviour only, and do not address the other half of what contributes to improved road safety, the road environment. A fundamental of basic road safety is DELINEATION. Delineation, put simply, are guidance systems in the form of painted road markings and other devices that assist the driver in negotiating the travel from A to B, comfortably and safely. So what is happening with delineation? From what we see, it appears to get cut back in budget dollars, or a least there appears to be no growth. No improvement. It doesn t sound as sexy as the other five wellknown road safety initiatives, and it is usually considered only another maintenance activity, so it just gets programmed in with other things to do . Well there are many who think it s about time that delineation received the funding that it deserves. There is worldwide recognition of this. Many studies and engineering and scientific reports, both locally and globally, are pointing to the huge importance of improved delineation, and the roll it can play in reducing road trauma. Wider lines, brighter lines, wet-night visible lines, audible lines, line that can be seen over greater distances, or just some better programming strategies that would improve delineation performance would be a good start. This paper presents a collage of documented evidence of studies from around the world that demonstrate what effect an injection of funding to basic roadmarking can have on road safety.